CDC EXTENDS EVICTION MORATORIUM FOR “LAST TIME”
Current as of June 25, 2021.
On June 24, 2021, the Biden administration (the “Administration”) extended the nationwide moratorium on evictions of “covered” persons for non-payment of rent until July 31, 2021 (the “Moratorium”). The Administration said that it plans on this being the last extension of the Moratorium. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), signed the extension (the “Order”), and also confirmed that this is intended to be the last extension of the Moratorium.
To read the Order, follow this link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/pdf/CDC_Eviction_Extension_Order_Final_06242021.pdf.
The purpose of the CDC’s moratorium, first issued on September 4, 2021, was to protect the public against the further spread of Covid-19. The Order reiterated that “Keeping people in their homes and out of crowded or congregate settings — like homeless shelters — by preventing evictions is a key step in helping to stop the spread of COVID-19.”
According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), more than 6 million renting households are behind on rent.
Extending the Moratorium for another month is only a temporary solution. An eviction crisis and homelessness crisis could not only frustrate the administration’s efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19, but also cause a housing crisis and damage the economy just as the economy is starting to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The question is how federal, state, and local governments plan to minimize the impact once the moratorium does expire.
On June 24, 2021, the Treasury Department encouraged state and local governments to streamline the distribution of the estimated 46 billion dollars of emergency rental assistance. On the same day, the Justice Department (U.S. Attorney General Vanita Gupta) released an open letter to state courts. The letter encourages the courts to pursue alternatives to eviction to protect landlords and tenants.
The Justice Department’s letter encourages courts adopt “diversion strategies” to help families avoid the “disruption and damage” that could be caused by the expected flood of evictions, stating that “Losing one’s home can have catastrophic economic and psychological effects [and that the] entire legal community, including the Department of Justice, the bar, and the judiciary, has an obligation to do what it can to ensure that each and every individual has meaningful and equal access to justice before facing such consequences.”
Particular steps recommended by Justice Department include the following:
· To require landlords to apply for rental assistance before filing for eviction;
· To extend time in pending cases;
· To modify summonses and other form filings (to alert litigants to eviction diversion programs such as rental assistance); and
· To partner with community-based organizations and legal services.
For a copy of Attorney General Gupta’s open letter to state courts, follow this link: https://www.justice.gov/asg/page/file/1405886/download.
Following the issuance of the CDC’s latest extension of the eviction moratorium, the White House released a press release that unveiled new actions the Administration will take to mitigate evictions and foreclosures in an “all hands approach.” For more details, click on the following link to view the White House’s release: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/06/24/fact-sheet-biden-harris-administration-announces-initiatives-to-promote-housing-stability-by-supporting-vulnerable-tenants-and-preventing-foreclosures/.
For more information about the Moratorium and the legal requirements to attain protection under the CDC’s eviction moratorium or rental assistance, you can also read the Bress Law Firm’s May and June updates on the CDC moratorium in our blog section at Bresslaw.Com. Our May and June updates are current as of June 25, 2021.
For the latest copy of the CDC declaration form, which “covered persons” must fill out and provide to their landlord to be protected under the Moratorium, follow this link:
If you require legal assistance, you can contact the Bress Law Firm, PLLC. Our information is below. We are located in Aventura but serve clients throughout Miami-Dade and Broward. If you cannot afford an attorney, you can call a local legal aid organization to see if you qualify for their assistance.
Current as of June 25, 2021.
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Michael N. Bress, Esq. is the managing partner at the Bress Law Firm, PLLC. The BRESS LAW FIRM, PLLC is located at 2980 NE 207th St., Suite # 300, Aventura, FL 33180, but serves clients throughout Miami-Dade & Broward. By appointment only.
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